06 March 2012
Alberto Navarro / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell
Real Madrid turns 110 years old today and several legendary players wished to share their feelings about the club on such a special occasion.
Alfredo di Stefano
"There are many reasons why this entity was named the Best Club of the 20th Century and why it is the most universal sports entity in the world, but it's when you're part of it that you become aware of the greatness of its history."
"I will never forget the Copa del Rey final we won against Barcelona at the Vicente Calderon Stadium. With five minutes left, coach Molowny came to me and told me I was going to play. I had been the captain for three years and Grosso had the armband that day. I was even more surprised when I realised I was coming on for him. Grosso gave me the armband so I would lift the trophy. That's the event that most marked me. I couldn't expect a greater sacrifice from a teammate who didn't get the chance to lift another Copa del Rey trophy. That's Real Madrid."
"What makes this club great is that it never disappears, it's always there. It has always been, and will always be, great. I'm proud to have played for the team when it won five straight European Cup titles. I don't think any other club will achieve that feat again and it makes Real Madrid unique and special. This club has always had Presidents anxious to follow in Bernabeu's footsteps and Florentino Perez is the best of them all. This club is safe in his hands."
"We had the privilege of representing this club throughout the world. This entity sets an example for all others to follow. It has always showcased sportsmanship both in victory and defeat."
"The feeling you get from wearing this shirt is the same as when you win a European Cup title. This is the most universal club in the world because of all the titles it has won and the quality of its players, many of which are the best in history: Di Stefano, Puskas, Gento, Kopa, Santamaria, Gordillo, Zidane, Ronaldo, Cristiano Ronaldo, Redondo, Roberto Carlos… It has an extraordinary academy that spawned the amazing Quinta del Buitre, Raul, Casillas..."
"I'm very proud for reaching as far as I did. Hard work, sacrifice, sweating till the last drop and until the the ref blows his whistle... These are things that have always been said to describe this club. I'd like to highlight something that has been deeply instilled in us and that Don Santiago Bernabeu used to remind us of time and again: humility. The club is safe in the hands of President Florentino Perez. Old times come to mind whenever I see him. I think he's on the right path and I believe he will even enlarge the greatness of this club."
"We should feel very proud of all those who preceded us and helped this team reach its present heights. It is our duty to preserve that legacy and try to improve on it."
"Once you wear this shirt you realise everything it stands for. As soon as you arrive at the club you're taught not to give up and try to win every game and championship. This club never plays friendlies."